Spring time at Coon Hollow Farm

Spring time at Coon Hollow Farm
Our Olde English "Babydoll" Sheep and their lambs

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The lambs are weaning!

The lambs are weaning! Even our bottle fed baby has weaned off her bottle. They take forever to eat, but we distract the mom's with some hay and they can enjoy their grain.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Taking a moment for cuteness!

I'd like to take this moment to say awwwww, so cute!? This is little "Ivy" with our first time mom, Daisy. These two are madly in love with each other and we have decided to keep her! For the most part we always let our ewes keep their first ewe. There was no question from the first time we saw her!

Friday, April 4, 2014

An "Ivy" update...

It was inevitable from the moment I saw her, her name would be "Ivy". She is so cute, we are so in love with her! She is laid back like her mom and just stunning like her dad!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Our 5th generation of "Babydolls", born

 ...and here she is!!! We were so surprised to see this little one, I was secretly wishing for a white healthy little ewe and that's what Daisy had!!! She is beautiful, adorable and quite personable already!
She comes to us as the 5th generation of our line of Olde English "Babydoll" Southdown sheep! Welcome little one!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

March's Farm Friend of the Month

Our farm friend of the month is our wonder dog, "Autumn". She does her very best to be the greatest guard dog ever! She learned from Jesse, who learned from Amy, who learned from Charlie, who learned from Sunny who learned from Jack! All our past farm dogs. She does her very best to keep them proud. She works tirelessly treeing raccoons and making sure that our neighbors are always okay too! She is not the easiest dog we have ever had, she is stubborn and not a good listener but takes her job very seriously!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Making Eco-Friendly Dryer Balls

 In preparation for upcoming Earth Day Festivals as well as our Farm Stand opening for the season, I really want to start offering more eco-friendly things. So I began to do some research on just that! Dryer Balls cut down the drying time of your dryer, absorbs the moisture as well as making you clothes softer. I start with lots of wool to make just one...
 then wrap and wrap and wrap layers of wool as tight as you can, bringing around and around to make it tight.
 Then take a felting needle and felt and felt them as tight as you can.
 With a nice basket of tight and felted balls...
 you can put them in a stocking but I am not a stocking kind of girl and didn't really have any on hand. I did however have a few old socks. Through trial and error, I did use a black sock and it left a lot of black lint on the balls. Also, turning the inside out netted better result.
The whole process is repeated again and even again if the ball is not big enough. This picture shows some finished on the left with some dyed wool as well as some plain. They will be available soon on our Etsy, Earth Day at Ansonia Nature Center April 26th and our Farm Stand which should open when the weather gets a little nicer!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Grooming the buns!

 After work today, I set out to shave down our new English Angora, "Fluffernutter". He was in deep need of a good grooming. So I grabbed my new grooming apron because the fiber sticks to you like glue! I then placed him on the old cat perch I had in the window of my room which made a great grooming table and got to work! I grabbed some grooming scissors, my Oster clippers with a 40 blade, two brushes and a towel. It took only about a half an hour. The finished product was not half bad! We got a full bag of soft beautiful fiber from him and he was such a good boy too!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Maple Syruping season is under way!

Tim as been busy at the evaporator burning down his sap. Today he was attempting to finish off a batch but the winds were so high that I bent and let him finish it down in the kitchen. If any of you have ever had someone boiling sap down in the house, well lets put it this way, you will need a new paint job and wallpaper in the upstairs bedrooms!

Friday, March 14, 2014

and it's another black ewe...

and her she is! She's a big girl too! We have one more ewe to go, hoping for a safe and healthy lamb...

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

This morning's miracle...

This morning I just got that gut feeling. Turned on the camera, nothing in view, no sounds but I just knew. Went down right away and here she was, a new little ewe lamb! I think we need to change the name of this farm to "Black Lamb Farm"! Glad she's healthy and well! Welcome little one!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The newest member of Coon Hollow Farm!

...and here he is, "Fulffernutter" as his mom called him. He is 9 months old and is a Vienna marked Opal. Sadly she had developed allergies to him and his hay, so she had to make the painful decision to find him a new home. It has always been my intention to get another English Angora who would be a companion to "Tawny" our doe. In the process of deciding if I could take him, I had to do a lot of soul searching and decide if I wanted to begin breeding these rabbits, and my decision is no. So tomorrow an appointment will be made to have him neutered. There are enough breeders of these rabbits and not enough homes for the others out there. These two will net me more than enough fiber to spin. I will enjoy their snuggles and hugs which is all you can ask for!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Boys will be Boys!!!

Here he is a week later! He has ripped his coat, and romps and romps all day. We are waiting for more lambs to come, he really needs a friend! Meanwhile we will watch him romp and play!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Our first lamb of 2014!

Well here he is! Our first lamb of the year, and of course a black ram! He arrived just before 9:00 p.m. I usually go down around 10:00 p.m. but wanted to get to bed early so went down a bit earlier, good thing! This was one of the coldest nights of the year and when I found him he was almost frozen! The tip of his tail had ice on it! We quickly rushed him to the house and got him warm! In the picture you can see the steam coming off of his head! He was dried, warmed and returned to his very anxious mother, Ophelia to bond with. He is under a heat lamp and we are watching the lamb cam to make sure the bonding goes well.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The waiting game...

 This past weekend we cleaned out the birthing stall and prepared it for the lambs that are on there way at any time now!
 The camera is in place to watch their every move...
and the monitor aka the "Lamb Cam" is in place so we can watch and hear what is going on down there. The waiting game begins now!

Friday, February 21, 2014

What is this you ask???

What is this you ask? What is that in the snow? Only the most wonderful thing to a beekeeper, bee poop!!! We are having some warmer temps here in Connecticut. The bees were all out yesterday with a great need to have "cleansing flights". it has been a very cold and snowy winter here. I have been most worried about my bees. Yesterday, I came home from work, stepped out onto the deck with the dogs and then saw the most amazing thing, the bees flying about, the snow speckled with "bee poop" everywhere. With a month until the first day of Spring, I am encouraged that they will be okay. It has taken me 5 years to trouble shoot and figure out what is best for the bees. Hang on "girls", Spring is almost here!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Snow Days Yarns!!!

 While some complain about the snow, I look forward to using the time to spin yarns. If you got snow, then make yarns! I had a lot of batts so I dove in and made some lovely yarns!
 The batt above made this yarn. I am calling it "Red, Green and Blue"...
 This yarn is called "Dawn", it reminds me of the morning sky...
 This yarn is "Earth Day". The colors of water and earth!
 ...and this yarn is "The forest in early snow". The greens in this yarn are so pretty speckled with white flecks.
 This one is "Sherbert"! Reminds me of all the colors of sherbert ice cream!
 This yarn is "The Gray". It is made with black faced scottish sheep wool and an alpaca over lay.
 This one is "Northern Lights". Sadly the camera doesn't do it justice. Lots of dark blues and glitz flecks too!
and finally I have no name for this one but just love the pastel colors. Reminds me of the coming Spring where I will become busy and not have the time I have had this winter to devote to some much needed spinning, crafting, cleaning and destashing unneeded things. I am such a fan of Snow Days!!!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

February's Farm Friend of the Month!

I have been wanting to do this at the urging of a few of my friends, the Farm Friend of the Month! Each month we will introduce a new one.
This is "Belle"! She started it all on the farm. I was gifted her and 3 other sheep some years back and she is the matriarch of my "Babydoll" line. She is an Olde English "Babydoll" Southdown sheep. I currently have 4 generations, with hopefully the 5th generation arriving next month.
She is a bit of a stinker though. She has taught all the others to begin hollering for their morning rations at 5:30 a.m. each day. Old Belle is going to be 12 this year and we hope she will slow down that nonsense but it seems she has taught the others to do the same! Always kind to the others and will often take on baby sitting the new lambs. Belle is retired from breeding and is enjoying just laying back except when it comes to breakfast!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Lock Spinning and enjoying a Snow Day!!!

 For the most part people hate Winter, but for me I find a lot of down time in it. It's a time for me to "get things done"!  I have been spending a lot of time with my spinning wheels which makes me happy! My wool room is filled with fibers to be spun. I came across this huge bag of fall colored locks!
 I proceeded to "fluff" up the locks, pulling them apart and apart and apart...
 ...and then I began to spin. When I spin locks, the last two fingers in my left hand pull the fiber back creating a lead line. My right hand holds the locks at about 90 degrees wrapping it and allowing the spinning wheel to take it, wrapping it and laying it into a beautiful yarn!
 Here you can see a part I missed. Such an easy fix! Pull some of the yarn out, take a lock and wrap it around.
...and her it is up close!  The colors remind me of fall, my favorite time of year! 
Here is the finished product still on the jumbo spool, all 70 yards of it! This is why I truly love snow days!!!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Good new from the hives!

Good news from the hives but not for this little girl! I saw her in the snow, down the hill from the hives, looks like she didn't quite get back home. Last week when we had warm weather all 3 hives were out for "cleansing flights" aka taking care of business! Yes even bees have to "go" and they will hold it for quite a long time until the weather is warm enough to leave the hive. So for now, knock on wood, the hives are holding strong through the winter so far, but we are not out of winter yet!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Core Spun in Raspberry shades...

 This marvelous batt of Romney, Wensleydale and Mohair was a delight to spin. I was eyeing it the other day and thought how much it reminded me of red and black raspberry...
... so I grabbed this spool of thick strong cotton cord to use as a core for my yarn.
 I spun, bringing in the fiber at a 90 degree angle wrapping it around the cotton core, the whole time thinking how much it reminded me of raspberries growing in the summertime.
and the final up close product! Over 80 yards of thick and thin core spun delight!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Godspeed Old Mo...

This morning we lost old "Mo" our sweet, loving and heart of gold ram. I had never met a ram that would actually cuddle with you, hug you and treat you like your presence was a treat to him. He romanced the ladies and was just kind to everyone in the barnyard. We took "Mo" in a few years ago and he was already over 10 years old then. He had gotten frail and weak over the past few days. I bedded him down last night in a fresh layer of straw and kissed him almost knowing that he would not be with us in the morning. I am so blessed to have had this boy on our farm. His offspring posses the same kindness that he had. Rest on my sweet boy...